Which would you choose? V1 @ $200 or V2 @ $500

Started Feb 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
DesertCat Contributing Member • Posts: 687
Re: Nikon Canada

Vincent Aquilino wrote:

Why prices are cheaper in Canada and not here in US?

The way I've heard this explained is that it comes down to the policy of that regional division of Nikon and the laws of the country involved.

Nikon USA has decided to pursue a strategy of setting a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) for retailers that choose to carry their products. There is some sort of legal precedent in the U.S. that allows Nikon USA to enforce this policy.  If a retailer wants to continue to carry Nikon products, they have to comply.  It is possible for a retailer to have a lower non-advertised price (e.g. in store special) but in terms of on-line pricing or advertisements in newspapers, you won't see retailers getting out of line.  At one level this policy is meant as a way of helping mom & pop camera stores.  You pay the same price at their store as you would at Amazon, B&H, etc.  That helps reduce the issue of "show rooming" where the consumer goes into the local camera shop to hold and feel the camera and then goes on-line to purchase it someplace else for less.  On the negative side, it means that how much we pay in the U.S. is pretty much at Nikon's whim and retailers aren't free to adjust their pricing to a level where they think they can actually sell the cameras.  Without the flexibility to sell the cameras at whatever price retailers think will work, competition is non-existent and the consumer gets screwed.  Sometimes Nikon issues instant rebates that make the cameras more competitive, such as the J3 dropping to $399 in November and then even further to $299 in December for a bit (now back to $399 if you can find it in stock).  The biggest price breaks in the U.S. happen when Nikon decides to remove the camera from their MAP list, usually indicating the end of that product's life span.  At that point, retailers can set the price of the cameras to whatever they want.  The legendary B&H V1 sales at $299 were under those conditions.

Nikon Canada has decided not to pursue the MAP strategy and it sounds like Canadian law doesn't give them the teeth to enforce it anyway.  So... you can find plenty of retailers that still list the V2 at $899 but others like Henry's, McBain, Downtown Camera, etc. are currently selling it at $450-499 CDN.  U.S. customers can actually purchase these cameras but this is considered a gray market purchase and, thus, it voids the Nikon warranty.  Nikon USA will not honor a warranty for a Nikon camera purchased in Canada.  The corker in all of this is that many markets where N1 sales are good behave in a way similar to Canada.  In Japan, retailers appear to have some flexibility on their pricing and have been selling the V2 in the $450-550 price range since September. Even given cultural preferences on camera styles etc., I don't think we should be too surprised that a camera sells better when retailers can sell it at a more competitive price.

I had a slim hope that we might see some price changes this morning (Feb 2) as Nikon USA's current paltry "rebates" on the 2-lens V2 kit ($100 off) and the 10-100mm V2 kit ($150 off) expired at midnight.  No such luck.  The same prices are being listed as they were last month and many, many months before that.  As is often the case when the new "instant rebates" are posted, I cannot find any merchants listing when the current rebates expire.  It may be a week or two before we see those.  My best hope now is that we are going to see some new N1 offerings at the CP+ show in Japan on Feb. 13-16, including a V3.  Who knows?  If so, however, it should cause the V2 to get bumped off of the MAP list and the big U.S. retailers can sell the V2 at a price more people may find attractive.

 DesertCat's gear list:DesertCat's gear list
Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Nikon 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 +1 more
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